Share This Episode
Sunday Morning Jane Pauley Logo

Health Threats in Drinking Water, Unionization of Amazon, Birkenstocks

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
August 21, 2022 3:58 pm

Health Threats in Drinking Water, Unionization of Amazon, Birkenstocks

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 257 podcast archives available on-demand.

August 21, 2022 3:58 pm

Guest host: Lee Cowan. In our cover story, Cowan examines the health threats posed by the prevalence of long-lasting compounds (known as PFAS) in drinking water sources. Robert Costa interviews retiring Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy; Neil Giraldo; David Pogue looks at the rise in unionization efforts at Amazon and other corporations; and Seth Doane finds out how Birkenstock is going toe-to-toe with counterfeiters.

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Building Relationships
Dr. Gary Chapman
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah

CBS Sunday morning podcast is sponsored by Edward Joe college tours with your oldest daughter updating the kitchen to the appropriate decade retiring on the coast. Life is full of moments that matter and Edward Joe's helps you make the most of them. That's why every Edward Jones financial advisor works with you to build personalized strategies for now and down the road so when your next moment arrives bigger small, you're ready for it. Life is for living. Let's partner for all of it.

Learn Jim Pauley is off this weekend. I we can then this is Sunday morning. Better living through chemistry and slogan dates back to the 1930s, optimistic declaration, suggesting that science can solve problems both large and small one of those intended solutions is led to what's being called a national crisis before us. The acronym for the compound behind products like Teflon have been linked to cancers and other life-threatening conditions. They've even made their way into our soil and groundwater. Forever chemicals threatening forever consequences is called P for a family of toxic chemicals. It's been around for so long. It's now found by some estimates anyway and the blood of nearly every single person on the planet. Why isn't there more testing more information that the multibillion-dollar question a lot of people asking it now solely ahead on the Sunday morning David Pogue tells us why some of us the union label is very much back in style stuff though walked a mile in some Birkenstocks. Those familiar sandals that are suddenly almost high-fashion. Plus, Robert Costa talking with retiring Vermont Sen. Patrick Lee, a survival story from our Steve Hartman and more on the Sunday morning August 21, 2022 will be back after this.

It's a silent thread working where you least expect it in a drinking water. We assume a course it's safe. But scientists are warning about a common and potentially dangerous chemical that can survive in the ground and in our water for on a cold winter day on the Stoneridge Erie for Anne Arundel me. Fred still was worried about his cows being especially his prized Brown Swiss Felix the give me a hard time as much as she can. Fred and his wife Laura are only the latest generation to work this dairy it's been in the family over a century, but since November 2016. Every drop of milk that white gold liable my generation is now right down the drain so I can no idea the wastewater estate license can be used fertilizes fields, also swimming with potentially toxic chemical called P effects now is like his cows, and yes there milk will contaminate never heard of Paphos or any chemicals never. A lot of people haven't P fast is an acronym for a family of man-made compounds called Pur and poly floral alkali substances.

The CDC is listed a host of health effects believed to be associated with exposure to those chemicals, including cancer, liver damage, increased cholesterol and a lot more chemicals are so highly mobile are finally being found in soil and groundwater. But in the atmosphere to the fact been detected in raindrops falling some of the most remote areas. This story is about a new plastic material trademark law.

PFS chemicals have been around for decades all DuPont first Intel for giving us nonstick pots and paint that has been treated with finish the other half has 3M used a different PFS in its once popular fabric protector Scotchgard today those chemical cousins can still be found in anything designed to fend off oil water Greeks that includes things like pizza, but paper plate rain jackets ski wax in guitar strings PFS are basically impossible to escape. Scientists say they are likely here to stay there nearly indestructible. Just can't get rid of.

You can't get rid of Patrick McGrew and her deputy director of the advocacy group defend our health and main explains just why that staying power is so very troubling, a lot of chemicals when they go into your body, or they end up in the environment they break down. They slowly decompose PFS don't do that once you put PFS somewhere. It's going to stay there practically forever means the levels of the so-called forever chemicals can build up and linger in her blood streams forever how highly her levels when they told of a water test mostly under 40 ppt dollars is 26,000 26,000, and Bruce Harrington live next to a farm were notified by Maine's Department of Environmental Protection that there drinking water was tainted with effects, the likely source was to industrial plants not far away your well is right there well is right there. They come and testify water and he said will send you a part in a couple weeks and whenever they call this in a few days and he said do not drink a lot. I don't use it for cooking. Nothing of what Bruce bottom line is we don't need freaking eggs to slide out of the hands versus people die.

People contamination is really in national crisis and the real scale of contamination is staggering. The more we test the more we find it Millie bench attorney of the environmental working group in Washington says thousands of sites nationwide are polluted with PFS and she lays the blame for the growing crisis squarely at the feet of the companies who invented the chemicals in the first place.

Manufacturers like DuPont and 3M could've gotten us here today said they know for 70 years that they were poisoning the water and they didn't tell the EPA they didn't tell their neighbors they didn't tell their workers they didn't tell anyone because they were making too much money in the last two decades, thousands of lawsuits been brought against the manufacturers for allegedly knowing PFS chemicals were dangerous. While most deny they did anything wrong. Settlement offers have been pouring in to the tune of billions of dollars, but Bender says the manufacturers aren't the only ones to blame. There has also been regulatory failure. The FDA in the 1960s, the Department of Defense new in the 1970s. The EPA has known since at least the 90s and they didn't treat the issue with the amount of urgency that it needed regulating P fast is like playing a game of lacrimal content. 3M phased out to the PFS back to being the most harmful, but they still manufacture others. In fact, there are thousands of variance.

Many of them have real similarities that make it very likely that one is just as toxic as the other take this plant. DuPont building North Carolina back in the seventh amendment spun off to a different company called Moore's second 2015. It's almost like a forensic almost a decade ago that left cannot environmental engineering professor at North Carolina State University.

Started testing the water nearby plan along the Cape fear River in 2017. His research made headline study said a new P fast called Gen X clearly present in the water. If you look at the surface of the water is completely clear.

Throwing nothing wrong with it, but it does help very high level. Several thousand unholy. We live in. Erica should be able to enjoy a shower and not worry that it's going to get me or my kids cancer Emily Donovan mother to lose about 80 miles downstream to Moore's plant the Cape fear River is a source of drinking water for more than 350,000 people in the round went. She liked most people just always assume say EPA doesn't require utilities to regulate testify that so there's really no way for the average American to know that even in their drinking water right now or in their stated or in their based on what is called new evidence this past June. EPA did update its drinking water advisories about PFS warning that even the tiniest amounts over a lifetime may be enough to cause negative health effects in humans, but it stops short of creating a new federal drinking water stand near drinking water standard in the United States. The 1990s 30 years so Emily cofounded clean Cape Creek community action group it among other things, has been fighting for both federal and state agencies to crack down harder on all of the P fast pollutants have two choices. You can have a breakdown about it. He can channel that energy and heartbreak into something productive and create a positive Moore's was forced by state environmental regulators to install a host of anti-pollution technology cost, the Millie statement to CBS News, the company says it's destroying over 99.99% of P fast in the end it's reduced PFS compounds reaching the Cape fear River by 97%.

As for PFS that have built up in the ground over the years. More says it will build a barrier wall will capture and treat the groundwater process it says will remove nearly all exposure is problematic for people's much tougher for people live around the swells professor cannot be is now interested in investigating is to see just how much of any P fast is present in the food grown nearby help analyze some of the programs or gardens suggests the levels quite scared that it is too late and scared that we're going to die because of what we've been tested.

Residents like Jane Jacobs, a member of the native Tuscarora nation have always seen the land is sacred, but she fears the blight under tribe land might just end way of life.

My people have always hunted in the swamps, but there fed by the rivers. So now the animals are polluted the same way the water is polluted because they drank out of the river is an out of this you think Ruben you make any sound you no one who lives off the land would willingly poison well.

Fred is certainly one of those people as our farmers and nearly every state to use treated wastewater to nourish their fee. He disliked his father, his grandfather before father soil as part of their soul cold draft supposed to be the biggest threats chemicals made by man. At some point in time I'm going to have to tell my my father, my grandfather what I did with that they entrusted me with this wasn't your fault though it wasn't my fault but was under my watch. Now it's going to be gone. That's it. That's the end of the road is take out with preacher Gary this week Stephen Law ally of Mitch McConnell in one of Washington's biggest midterm monument list for me to Senate races you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a democratic seed what Nevada not Georgia. Georgia is right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise in New Hampshire. People really just kind of don't like you have for more from this week's conversation followed the take out with Maj. Garrett on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts high podcast. It's me Drew Barrymore all my goodness, I want to tell you about our new shell business podcast and each episode Nina weekly gas that can cover other quirky find inspiring and informative stories that exist on the wall because well and maybe you do to friend the newest interior design trend Barbie car to the right and wrong way to wash her arm us out working to get into things that you just kind of wrongfully and were not able to do in daytime television. So watch out. Tristan is ever you get your podcasts. It's a good news on the got. You might call it the sandal of the summer noted to be at the beach to make a splash. SF don't explains work in stocks are so popular it's criminal.

It's proof of popularity that the German footwear brand Birkenstock never wanted what is right in the fight against thinks shoemakers been sending teams of undercover investigators with hidden cameras and what they state our counterfeiting factories. This is their video.

Why is but it is a problem for Birkenstock. We don't just punish the marketplaces that the resellers really go to the factors Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichart is aggressive. Turkey, Philippines, China, where sounds like you're running special ops. Yes, but that's unconventional approach is clear at their headquarters sitting at your desk listening at times lasting know what you expect from a CEO problem of the average video never tried to be average in anything and Birkenstock is proved it's not average either haven't noticed Birkenstock's arc everywhere, revealing the toes were yes socks, not just the most unfashionable among us but models and celebrities to its undeniable that Birkenstock is having a moment.

Nearly 250 years in the making contacts from eighth grade because there back maybe not sandals of chain.

I work to come a long way from their days stapled over this formerly family-run business in 2009 Oliver Reichart is tried to inject a startup energy.

If you have thoughts of this history threat wake up in your own and I don't want to have this in the foot.

He's ruthless regarding brand collaboration requests. They get plenty 8/10 they said yes to do your how much is this and are now producing this felt covered shoe molding referencing retailing for over $1000. It's about supporting the idea behind the product and not harming the DMA immigrants. It's like a marriage and there's luxury Shoemaker Manolo Blahnik known for his coveted stiletto Manolo Blahnik Blahnik is an avid Birkenstock customer now turned collaborator you think of Manolo Blahnik in sex and the city and Sarah Jessica Parker is going well in the private life stacks and stacks when you see some celebrity pictured with Birkenstocks. What you think. I'm probably the day wearing booking books and I know this makes it even product that they by you don't give them something we don't have a Hollywood office of something like this, and if some celebrity says hey all aware this you you won't send them a shoe line, if they send them on the other within the mission by this you it's a glamorous twist for a company to traces its roots back to a cobbler in central Germany in 1774 in the late 1800s, a descendent Conrad Birkenstock begin making and selling flexible insoles for decades that humble footbed was the family business in the 60s cobbler. It was somehow frustrated that okay we make the best in so in the world but nobody sees all product, so he decided to try to bring to footbed out shoes and that's the birthday of December, but the shoe stores in America didn't want the product.

It was August 2 now they say okay are you crazy ugly perhaps, and for a time, uncool. But in just the past decade, Birkenstock report sales more than quadrupled.

What's the most popular Birkenstock is on this dollars on a nice picture, and cuvée provided another unexpected. Unfortunately, we became the number one home-office you the Montague online was crazy. So what you say.

Unfortunately it's painful to have no sales but it's very painful to have too much trying to manage this global demand so that it one of their factories in the east of Germany when they were racing to fill a backlog of nearly a million pairs. How much stock is here yes is only for 10 days, managing director Hilmar Knoll juggles the logistics. All this at the limit of our capacity delete the produce 80,000 foot bits, which all start as a mix of pork from Portugal. This is part of it what you call cigarette yes this is one of our secrets differently. That secret mix is heated and squeezed in the mold so this is called topics to then will be this footbed ceiling is one of all your success in the loss is Birkenstock still makes all the Jews in Germany and is fiercely protective of that quality as part of its effort to crack down on counterfeiters stop selling on Amazon, citing the number of fakes being sold. How hard was that for nothing. Huge outlet maybe not a good one. I think of the beginning, Amazon was a pioneer in online trading, you have to kill amongst us small, getting too big can kill them. They will eat you and we decide to kill amongst us in his statement. Amazon told us fewer than .01% of all products sold on Amazon received a counterfeit complaint from customers and we won't rest until that number is zero.

The robust market for fakes reinforces this. If anyone needed a reminder just how popular these sandals are what ever the reason even people who hate the Brent Webb because they are good. It's like you, love you like taking medicine no help. So you swallow. You see most proud that some people don't like your product is a proof of concept because once you get the product will read and usually buy it so you know when they would get a few days ago, workers at an Amazon warehouse near Albany, New York. Petition to join a union is David Pogue explains the part of a growing movement driven by a new generation number of Americans who belong to believers has been dropping for decades, but suddenly in the last year or so, the winds of change. Unionization efforts are underway to companies like Apple and Google media organizations like the New York Times and Condé Nast and among grad students delivery drivers and recess since December Starbucks in Buffalo was the first to vote to unionize workers at more than 200 Starbucks stores have followed suit. Yes, they vote one store at a time. Then last April, there was news that stuns the business world about America's second largest employer is Amazon but it was a massive Amazon warehouse on Staten Island that employs 8300 people voted to unionize his son were there people saying do these efforts never succeed.

Of course I think everybody wrote us all that everybody didn't believe that we may think it's an election, let alone when former Amazon worker Chris smalls led the union drive, but that wasn't his original plan had no intentions on unionizing this time the right things and protecting from Diebel cultivating in March 2020, he organized a walkout to protest the lack of facemasks and other covert gear at JFK eight Amazon fired him and in a leaked memo executive called him what's that quote not small, articulate, though smalls a strategy to unionize JFK eight involved a social media campaign and small grassroots gestures all paid for by donations with me that Leno thinks catered food so different cultural for that's what the union represents is well taken care of one another. Amazon fought back hard, using the standard unionbusting playbook.

It's been over $4 million on consultants and required every employee to attend antiunion meeting with your money and I might make it go on strike you my not receive any that. Ruth is a labor expert and professor at the city University of New York can be very intimidating and very effective. But not this time. I think what you're saying is you succeeded because you're smart and articulate pretty much Amazon declined an interview but told us in a statement. We don't think unions are the best answer for our employees, our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work. In May, the Amazon union lost about a smaller warehouse on Staten Island.

To date the JFK eight warehouse remains the only Amazon location in the country to vote for unionization. Amazon is also challenging the validity of the JFK eight points out that it already offers better than average pay and benefits. $15 an hour starting wage and health insurance. Ruth Milton says that it's about more than dollars workers want respect. They want to be treated with dignity and I think really fairly treated like machines. In what ways are these work nurses and bees unions different from the old union factory efforts. What I think is the zeitgeist that especially young workers have lived through a lot of turmoil. They have high expectations for what their work like that and then they can afford the rent they might analyze student that they end up living with their parents. I mean, this is not the what they were promised to create a labor shortage which gave people more leverage and make them less fearful of organizing for this generation to many of the workers at JFK eight Chris smalls is definitely cool. One of them drove by during our interview and express his own thoughts on the unionization to say that word I guess is prounion is one of the longest-serving senators in US history after 48 years in office Vermont Patrick lady is retiring. He took some time to reflect on his decades of service with our Robert Costa. There is an inscription on the side of the Dirksen Senate office building that reads the Senate is the living symbol of our union of states is the Senate should be the conscience of the nation's Senate family now this has become so visually divided on things that they shouldn't be divided on also now rise raise the right political divisions are the bookends to the long career of Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick lady is not this one. I think this is where democracy can be should be now 82 and retiring at the end of this term when he was sent to Washington in the wake of Watergate and idealistic 34-year-old prosecutor you're elected in 1974 of Watergate baby. Now you're about to leave the Senate after an attack on the US capital. What is that say to you since we have really learned something as anybody read a book in history. January 6 which is a core that I thought back to the really wonderful men and women I've served over over all these years in both parties would not have stood for this for his new memoir published by Simon & Schuster part of CBS parent company Paramount global lady plays off the title of the Robert Frost poem, the Road not taken, indeed United States Sen., was an unlikely career path for the young attorney and when Lahey arrived in Congress.

He intended to keep his head down. Not easy when you stand 6 foot to really want to blend into the background. Most of the time.

I said the first caucus I came out with back role as Walter said the Humphrey scope Jackson a couple other very sinuous covenants of the savviest support. You learn fast supporting me recent years, a Vegas boy could sneak out one of you read the report lays no nonsense approach him to the old lions of the Senate, but his quiet composure has long hidden a Crusaders you last year when Chief Justice John Roberts declined to preside over Donald Trump second impeachment trial lady took on the task days are 43 and is hereby acquitted of the charge in said article.

What would have meant for the country if more Republicans had voted to convict Trump in that trial. I think it would help the country. I don't say this is a positive thing. It wasn't worth to the country in the same way the Barry Goldwater his God told Richard Nixon you broke the law. It's time to go. I wish more than one to stand up and say this is wrong. It's a privately said publicly is no place where the public and private sides of politics come together more than in rooms like this Lahey so-called hideaway amid photos of his wife of 60 years, Marcel and their family. It were senators brokered an end to the 2019 government shut down.

I can just go ahead and take pictures and where Lahey can just be himself an avid photographer lady has lined the walls with photos of his home state. I was born blind in one eye and things that require depth perception not more difficult. You only need one eye for photography. The Vermont Sen. has another form more unusual sideline.

You remind me of my father. He's been a bit player in several Batman movies, a lifelong fan of the caped crusader. Lahey has spent his career working for Americans with little power of their own, the poor, the hungry children and victims of landmines, though he is the fourth longest-serving senator in US history with the trappings of seniority to show for it.

Lahey is the first of his family to have attended college and he's not afraid to take the gloves off. He opposed all of Donald Trump, Supreme Court nominees, Trump claims as an absolute right to pardon himself because he taking particular umbrage during the Brett Cavanaugh hearings analyzed. A lot of people should question this last round by the said they couldn't make of Sen. Collins Sen. mansion saying justice Cavanaugh misled them during the confirmation hearing.

I wasn't hearing.

I was at this slip. I believe the charges against him and I believe that the White House stymied a full investigation.

The FBI did not do a complete investigation, it was rushed close he could not have a complete investigation, and it was a farce but that's my view, the biting years have proven happier for lady and though he is only three years older than the president. He's not advising biotin to follow suit and retire. Should he run in 2024 is glad to be his decision does all support is there something about getting to a certain age or you start to maybe reflect about the crossroads of life have Bob you tell me, sir, I read the book the road is going to miss all this mess is not taken off life pictures as Patrick lady prepares to dissent from his position of power in Washington. His thoughts turned to the next generation of leaders and to the young man he once was. If you could go back to 1974 and tapped the 34-year-old you on the shoulder and give him a little advice would you tell him I tell things are looking possible heart. If you work hard, is not to be done with press releases and like a great atmosphere of intelligence study.

Careful work, but it can be done.

I'm we count thanks for listening and please join us when our trumpet sounds again now streaming progress and crazy time was original series returns for its final season. The point is, when people in the best way to protect people is to convict the final season Millstream exclusively on plus

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime